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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum



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The Via Maris or 'way of the sea' has been used by soldiers for many thousands of years

When Allenby's army reached the northern Mediterranean coast of Syria they were in fact following in the footsteps of Ramses II, Nebuchadnezzar, Senacherib, the Romans and, no doubt, many, many, others

About ten miles north of Beirut on the Tripoli road, the Dog River enters the sea.

[from a guide book] 'At this point the hills approach the sea and rise high above the river; together they form a very serious obstacle which had to be negotiated by every army marching along the shore. Here therefore the Egyptian Pharaohs commemorated their successes, and their example was followed by all subsequent conquerors....'


The ancient example was followed in October 1918


It was also followed in 1942 [which brings us to the reason for this thread appearing under 'culture']

In 1918 Thomas Blamey was Monash's Chief of Staff on the Western Front

However in the Second World War he was leaving his mark in another theatre

An Inscription for Dog River – by Kenneth Slessor

Our general was the greatest and bravest of generals.

For his deeds, look around you on this coast-

Here is his name cut next to Ashu-Bani-Pal's, Nebuchadnezzar's and the Roman host;

Lacking the validity of stone or metal,

We, too, are part of his memorial,

Having been put in for the cost,

Having bestowed on him all we had to give

In battles few can recollect,

Our strength, obedience and endurance,

Our wits, our bodies, our existence,

Even our descendants' right to live-

Having given him everything, in fact,

Except respect

[From 'Clubbing of the Gunfire' edited by Chris Wallace-Crabe & Peter Pierce

In 1942, General Sir Thomas Blamey had an inscription cut to celebrate the capture of Damour by Australian troops under his command]

Never mind the Ausie's well known disrespect for authority

I find Slessor's third from last line hard to turn away from

It grabs you! Where it hurts!

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My favourite piece of grafitti I saw many years ago on a wall in Carthage.

"Hic Kilroyus erat!"

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  • 1 month later...

Not sure if this classifies as 'graffiti', but certainly a personal favourite:

Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδεκείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.

Ō ksein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti tēidekeimetha tois keinōn rhēmasi peithomenoi.



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  • 3 weeks later...

For those very few amongst us who do not speak or read posh languages what the **** does it say? Or are plebs excluded, being to ignorant to understand posh-speak? Or are you just being a bit of a tart?

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I never learnt any Greek, and latin gave up on me in 1965. I could remember enough to translate the bit from Carthage.

As for your question.......might that be a little insulting to tarts?



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David, roughly translated it reads;_

Omelette & chips, egg & chips, sausage & chips or octopus and chips all served with a delicious side salad 10 drachmas pp.

Mind you I could be slightly out there.


edited to add:

Oh and David its TOO not TO

Thank you.

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Have you ever heard of the 'greatest' battle of Spartan/Greek history – The Battle of Themoplyae?

It's an ancient story of human endurance, great bravery and death under steel.

The graffiti left at the site became a monument to the men who died. It is an elegiac couplet, an epitaph to the fallen.

Varying tranlastions have been submitted by different scholars, but running it through the online Tart-to-Pleb translator, it reads:

"Go tell the Spartans, passerby:

That here, by Spartan law, we lie"

Tarts might try further reading with "The Battle of Themoplyae, a Campaign in Context" by Rupert Matthews.

Plebs might like the 2007 DVD release of "300" by Gerard Butler, based on Frank Miller's excellent graphic novel.



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